home > Pastor’s Desk > 2022 > March 4th > THE SPIRIT EXPRESSLY SAYS

¶ Now the Spirit expressly says…
First Timothy 4:1

The apostle Paul’s journey with Christ commenced on the road to Damascus. It was a dramatic, miraculous moment that led to him being knocked off his horse, being blinded for days by a supernatural light emanating from Christ with whom he had an amazing conversation about his destiny. Paul’s conversion to Christianity was profoundly supernatural, but so was the rest of his journey with Christ. While many believers can also claim to have had a dramatic and supernatural conversion to Christ resulting in much Holy Spirit activity in the early days of their conversion, sadly, not many could also claim that decades later these supernatural activities by the Holy Spirit have increased both in their frequency and intensity, as they did with the apostle Paul. Paul’s deepening charismatic experience throughout his life becomes a challenge to those of us who think that “being ‘on-fire’ for God” is only a new-Christian experience. Here’s why Paul’s spiritual journey should be a challenge for each of us. Let me explain.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit!
Ephesians 5:18



Paul grew up as a devout Jew. He was schooled by Israel’s leading teacher, Rabbi Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). He belonged to the ultra-strict sect of the Pharisees. Soon after Christianity was birthed, he personally felt responsible to violently wipe it out (Acts 8:3). His view of the world was shaped by what the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament, the Law) and the Tanakh (the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets – note, Luke 22:44) taught.  But then came his journey to Damascus. It was on that road that he met the Christ, the Jewish Messiah, the Hope of Israel. Three days after this dramatic appearing of Christ to Paul, a courageous disciple of Jesus, Ananias, was sent by the Lord to this infamous persecutor of the Church…

And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. ¶ Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;
Acts 9:9-18

The Lord Jesus sent Ananias to Saul (whose Romans name was Paul) to (i) pray for his healing from blindness; (ii) pray for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit; and (iii) baptise him in water. Interestingly, we have immediate evidence of Paul being healed (i) and Paul being water baptised (iii). But was Paul “filled with the Holy Spirit” after Ananias prayed for him? And, what did being filled with the Holy Spirit mean to the first generations of Christians? We don’t have to wonder for very long. We read in Acts 2 that when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the first believers there was an immediate and dramatic effect upon them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:4

But was this Paul’s experience if he was filled with the Spirit after Ananias prayed for him? The evidence is clear that it was.

I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
First Corinthians 14:18

If we had the time we would also survey Paul’s epistles where he describes his experiences with the Holy Spirit including several visions (2Cor. 12:1), direct revelations from the Lord (Gal. 1:12; 2:2) a trip to heaven (2Cor. 12:2), many healings and miracles (Acts 19:6). For me, the increasing depth of the apostle Paul’s Pentecostal experiences is borne out in his epistles, especially in Romans 8 which is saturated with evidence of his intimacy with the Holy Spirit. But as I consider his last two epistles to Timothy, it is his statement in First Timothy 4:1 which reveals his increasing closeness with the Holy Spirit. He states the Spirit expressly says – as if he is reciting a conversation he has recently had with a very familiar friend. This is all the more remarkable because of the adverse circumstances that Paul was enduring at the time he wrote this. Within a matter of months after his Roman imprisonment he would be executed. This is why I find Paul one of the highest examples of a Spirit-filled servant of God. His intimacy with the Holy Spirit did not exempt him from doubts, trials, or even infirmities. But throughout his life he continued to seek God and the fullness of the fellowship with Holy Spirit. And so should we.



Your Pastor,


Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

1 Comment

  1. LYDIA

    In the many years past I would not have known what it was to be transformed and filled with the Holy Spirit. I believed from a child on after all…hey. Yet, not even when it happened those 17 years ago did I understand the ramifications of that special day in March 2005. It took me just over three months to be obedient to the call to have Believer’s baptism.
    Often I use the analogy of glasses, the old glasses and the new ones. It was a new road of learning, stumbling and getting up again. The gems of the Bible would impact me as all of a sudden I ‘got it’ and from that first ‘revelation’ I understood those sermons (Thanks Jamie!) and the explanation of the text I was hearing – with new glasses on. Many times in those days I recall saying…”Is that what it REALLY says?” Not only had I short-changed the Scriptures, God’s living Word but I also short changed God the Holy Spirit, big time.
    I cannot confess to a perfect life but I can confess to a transformed life. Equally I cannot confess to a perfect life but again I can confess to a continually transforming life. Back in those days I was pulled up short when ever I fleetingly had those old glasses on. Very occasionally I pull myself up short today to not do that!
    God the Holy Spirit being one of the Persons of the Trinity, transforms, just as Saul ala Paul was transformed and the scales fell off his eyes, where he had many different experiences as a Spirit-filled man.
    Andrew I like the point about Ananias praying for ‘Paul’. In this way we can also pray for those, who God only knows and will call to Himself, those folks that He places on our pathways of life in one form or another, that they also are filled with the Spirit, that the Spirit moves them mightily and gives them clarity and discernment to leave the old path and walk on the new, never to be deceived again.


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Anyone who has attended a large event such as the recent Will Graham Outreach event that was held at the Launceston Silverdome would be familiar with the varying levels of access that are provided to staff and volunteers associated with this type of event. The security system used included identification in the form of different coloured shirts, prayer volunteer cards, and all access cards that permitted access to the entire venue with no questions asked by security personnel. This is like the access level that God has to our lives. Being omnipresent, He has unhindered access to every aspect of our lives. He knows our innermost thoughts, sees all that we do, hears all that we say. God has the ultimate ‘all access’ card.


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 Truth corresponds to reality.
 Truth is verifiable (that is, if it is true, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is falsifiable (that is, if it is false, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is sometimes testable (that is, claims that are experiential can be tested by experience – including scientific claims, historic claims, and existential claims).
We have good reasons for the believing that the Bible is true because it is the divinely inspired, reliable and authoritative Word of God which has been superintendedly preserved by the Holy Spirit (read more about this).


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Of the many tributes paid to her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was the often noted reflection that during her reign the world underwent a series of rapid changes that were dramatic and unprecedented in human history. There were technological inventions that revolutionised the way people could access international travel options enabling them to be virtually anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. New forms of communication emerged with the development of a global satellite communications network enabling people to watch Neil Armstrong take his one giant leap Live on their black-and-white TV screens (as I did in the corridors of Corio Primary School in 1969). Space exploration, the stuff previously just in the realm of science fiction writers, became a reality with manned and unmanned voyages to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But the past one hundred years have also been a time of great upheaval with empires crumbling, governments toppled, wars waged, genocides committed, pandemics raging, nations birthed, rulers assassinated, and massive refugee movements from oppressive Islamic and Communist regimes. Added to this has been the demise of professional journalism and the rise of internet-citizen-journalism where it is now common for TV News reports to feature footage taken from someone’s cell-phone which was posted on social media rather than the more expensive option of sending their own film crew there. And while we’re mentioning the internet, let’s not forget to mention – the internet. This alone has possibly been the most monumental change in the way people communicate, work, learn, and shop. But while it was noted that the Queen had witnessed all of these many changes, it was also noted that the Queen herself was an unchanging constant during all these upheavals who brought about a sense of stability, peace and reassurance. To millions of people around the world, she was their rock in a world of turmoil and change. Yet this was only possible because she herself had an immovable, dependable rock upon which she had built her life.


home > Pastor's Desk > 2022 > October 7th > Who Builds A City On A HillFor those who don’t know, I was born in Geelong, and have always been fan of the Geelong Football Club. But I’m not just a fan, I’m a paid-up member of the Club. In fact, I’m a student...


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